Five Best European MMA Fighters of All Time

It is no wonder that MMA has become a global phenomenon when you consider just how many of the sport’s stars come from countries from all around the world. And Europe is certainly no stranger to producing champions. Many European MMA fighters are considered to be all-time greats. Here is a look at five of them.

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor, “The Last Emperor,” Emelianenko began his MMA career in 2000, with four consecutive victories. MMA publications consistently name him the best MMA fighter of the 2000s, and with good reason. The legendary Russian ticks all the boxes for an all-time great. He won the Pride FC heavyweight title and defended the title three times, and the Pride 2004 Open Weight Grand Prix. He was also the one and only heavyweight champion of the WAMMA, and he defended the title twice. Furthermore, The Last Emperor went undefeated for nearly ten years. With fast and powerful hands, the heavyweight who moves like a lightweight brutalized his opponents with the utmost mastery of MMA skills.

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Mirko Filipovic

Croatian Mirko Filipovic, who is better known as Cro Cop, is not just a legend of MMA. He is also an all-star of combat sports. Before he made his MMA debut in 2001, Filipovic was a highly-regarded kickboxer, but after he transitioned to MMA, he became an even bigger star. As well as having a left high kick that will go down in the history books of MMA, the undersized heavyweight also had excellent footwork, quick hands, and a stellar takedown-defense. He won the Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Championship in 2006, which meant he became only the second fighter ever to win both MMA and kickboxing tournaments. Cro Cop is also a former IGF Championship winner.

Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem, also known as The Demolition Man, is a former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, DREAM Heavyweight Champion, and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. He is the only fighter besides Mirko Filipovic to hold world titles for both kickboxing and MMA tournaments. Born in England and raised in the Netherlands, Overeem is currently ranked number eight in the UFC heavyweight rankings. Although he is known for his power and excellence in the striking field, he is also one of the most-rounded heavyweights ever seen in MMA. His most famous finishing technique used to be a left knee to the midsection, which helped him to end many bouts. But he changed to a left body kick for finishing later in his career.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

The reigning UFC Lightweight Champion and two-time Combat Sambo World Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has become an extremely notable fighter in recent years and is surely destined to go down as an all-time great of MMA. The Russian is the first Muslim to win a UFC title, and with 28 wins and no losses or draws, Nurmagomedov currently holds the record for the longest active undefeated streak in MMA history. In 2018, his headline fight with Conor McGregor attracted 2.4 million pay-per-view viewers, which is the most ever for an MMA tournament. With a combination of skills in sambo, wrestling, and judo, Nurmagomedov is one of the most dominant fighters to have ever be seen in MMA bouts.

Conor McGregor

With 22 wins and only four losses to his name, Conor “The Notorious” McGregor is ranked as the number one MMA Fighter of the Year 2020, having also won that accolade several times before. The Irish MMA fighter and boxer is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight and featherweight champion. He is most well-known for the 2015 UFC Featherweight Championship in which he defeated José Aldo via knockout after only 13 seconds into the first round. That is the quickest victory in UFC championship history. McGregor went on to beat Eddie Alvarez at the UFC 205, making him the first UFC fighter to hold two weight divisions at the same time.